Paying it Forward at Brickett School

There was much more than reading, writing and arithmetic going on at Brickett School this month. The students gave, and got, the important life lesson of Paying It Forward.

What started as a fundraiser for Haitian earthquake victims turned into more when the top collectors earned a “no homework pass.” Instead of keeping it for themselves, Christine Mulcahy’s first-graders decided to donate their passes to third-graders. “They have much more homework,” first-grader Robyn Barrios said.

After Principal Debra Ruggiero announced Mulcahy’s class as winners this week, they excitedly remembered their plan and quickly set out to surprise their older peers in Sheila O’Neil’s room. First-grader Jason Addario explained the gift to shocked third-graders and his class set about to put smiles on their faces and no homework passes in their backpacks.

“They were a little disappointed when the announcement was made (of the winning class), O’Neil said of her older students. O’Neil noted that her students had emptied piggy banks and brought in their own money to give to the victims of the devastating earthquake. Brickett students collected $1031.26 in the Helping Hands for Haiti fundraiser. Mulcahy’s class donated $141.50 and O’Neil’s class brought in $90.10. While the giving was lesson enough, the first-graders made it even more impactful by teaching how good it feels, and how important it is, to pay it forward. They are hoping the giving continues in some way so the idea of Paying It Forward lives on.

Thanks to some generous and thoughtful younger friends, the second place class ended up with the first place prize and most importantly, Haitian victims now have another $1,031.26 to help get them back on their feet.

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